Billy enjoys the Southend sea air

BILLY Clarke took centre stage at Roots Hall on Saturday, scoring his fourth goal of the season - all after coming on as a substitute.The 18-year-old striker enjoyed the sea air at Southend and drew praise from his manager.

By Elvin King

BILLY Clarke took centre stage at Roots Hall on Saturday, scoring his fourth goal of the season - all after coming on as a substitute.

The 18-year-old striker enjoyed the sea air at Southend and drew praise from his manager.

Jim Magilton said: “Billy is going to be a special player.


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“He has got all the attributes and we are delighted to have him at this club.

“He has proved he can do it at this level.

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“We normally like to put him on after an hour, but he is desperate to play and desperate to score goals.”

Clarke said that the result was more important than his contribution.

“We played well for periods, but it was all about getting the result and we fully deserved the win,” he said.

“It will give everyone a confidence boost and hopefully we can move on from here and put a good run together.

“It is always good to score goals and that is what I am in the team for.

“I don't care whether I get them after coming off the bench or from the start, I just want to keep scoring for the team and help Ipswich climb the table.”

Talking about the game in general, Magilton said: “After the week we have had we showed a lot of character and deserved to win.

“We looked a bit jittery at times and if we want to be a top side we have to start putting teams away, but I'm pleased.

“We have got to take confidence from the performance and, most importantly, the result, because we needed a win.

“There is a lot more to come from this side, we know that.

“Having been three goals up, I wasn't too pleased that we let them back in the game and gave them a sniff.

Southend boss Steve Tilson conceded that his side were second best.

He said: “We didn't play well enough and didn't pass the ball well enough.

“We gave the ball away too often and in this league you don't get it back. In the last 35 minutes we gave it a right go, but by then it was too late.

“The front two had to come off with a virus and we're short of bodies as it is.”

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